Alberta government took six months to release alarming climate report

Alberta will warm faster than the rest of the planet because of human activity, causing a range of profound impacts on the province’s economy, infrastructure and public health, says a new report, prepared by climate scientists and published on a provincial government website.

“Projected changes will profoundly impact Alberta’s natural environment, and have the potential to affect the province’s agriculture, infrastructure, and natural resources, as well as the health and welfare of its inhabitants,” said the report, co-authored by Canadian climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe and postdoctoral research fellow Anne Stoner from Texas Tech University.

The projections from the report, entitled Alberta’s Climate Future, are similar to projections for other parts of Canada that are warming faster than the rest of the world.

Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government released the report more than six months after it received the final draft, leading some critics, such as former NDP environment minister Shannon Phillips who had commissioned the report, to suggest her successor tried to bury it.

The government’s Environment and Parks Department also refused at least two freedom of information requests for the report — including one request from Global News in December — before posting it online. In addition, the Alberta Federation of Labour, which filed the other freedom of information request for the report, noted that someone in government backdated the entry of the report into a provincial “open government” portal to Sept. 1, 2019, making it more difficult to find on the website.

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